I awaken, look at my watch and say, very calmly… “Jen, I’m Late”. My Mobile phone alarm which was set for 33:45am was not sufficient to wale me. I either was way too sleepy from the 4 nights in a row of getting 4 or less hours of nonconsectutive sleep (thanks, kids) or it just didn’t work. I am leaning toward the former.
The Time:5:21 am
The Location: My House
“What Can I do?” Jen, now wide awake asks alarmingly.
“I’m not sure, I have to get dress,” I replied in my Why am I awake foggy brain trance.
Jen proceeds to go down to the kitchen and put the laptop (not P3 Mobile One) in it’s bag and puts the computer plus my heavy ass bag into the trunk of my car. I had put out my clothes the night, errr, just a couple of hours ago in a hurry as the fogginess of about 4 hours (again!).
No goodbye hug and kiss to the kids, no travel mug of coffee to help with drive, no long drawn out goodbye with Jen. It was more like a couple of business men talking.
“You got everything? I out the computer and bag in the trunk”
“I think so, where are my shoes (they were hidden behind the door),” I say as I grab my loose paperwork from the corner of the counter.
“Love you… You are going to make your Flight!”
“I know,” I replied not 100% confident that I would make it but not defeated. “I’ll call when I know something.”
Location: McGhee-Tyson International Airport (TYS, for those playing at home)
The airport isn’t all that far away from my house, I figured that I would arrive right at the departure time or shortly afterwards. I knew it was in my best interest to not drive like a maniac, because my flight would be gone especially by the time I got there and checked-in and not to mention Security.
So get there as fast as I can. Park, grab my stuff and get the hell up to the Ticketing counter. I get up there and find the American Airlines counter. I tell the Kind gentlemen that I was supposed to be on the flight to Dallas. He had spoken with the other members of my party and so he was familiar with my situation.
With some magic keystrokes, he said that I could go through Chicago and that I would be Stand-By. Stand-by is better than No Flight. I am supposed to the be the team leader on this survey. He assured me that the flight to O’hare was wide open, but that the flight to Honolulu was less certain. Again, I was not really worried. The most stressful part of the morning was not knowing where my shoes were because they were the only thing I hadn’t placed in a “Go-Live” staging area.
My flight to Chicago left at 6:45. So I had plenty of time to go through security… no problems and to get some cash from the ATM. I realized that a bag I had not chosen had some cash stashed in a secret compartment and I had left it there. I got a water and called Jen to let her know my status.
The Flight to Chicago was uneventful. The guy sitting next to me was going on to Korea for a Karate Tournament. Cool. Once in Chicago, I found my gate and went for some Starbucks (yummy, but overpriced) java nectar.
I had about an hour to kill, so I call my work to let them know that I should be in Hawaii. Actually, my flight arrived an hour earlier than theirs did, so I am waiting on them! I am currently in the Honolulu airport waiting for them.
The flight from Chicago to Honolulu was a little different. Nothing happened, but if you haven’t flown in a while. Some carrier, ah-um American, has discontinued meal service. Let me rephrase that, FREE meal service. An Asian Chicken salad was $5 and a box O’ snacks was $4. Now, I do have a good amount of per diem for food. But by PRINICIPLE I was NOT purchasing the food at that price.
Now, it’s a 9 hour flight from Chicago and the only food I have eaten was A Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha. Thank goodness I got whipped cream… extra calories. They still have the drink service, I made sure that I got Regular Dr. Pepper (Tn Chick’s Fave) for the caloric intake.
Funny enough, but I didn’t sleep all that much… maybe 45 minutes at the most. I guess the 4 hour sleep for 5 nights in a row is a little easier to handle.
Since I my journey has started, I have read 400+ pages of the 600 (and Change) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I had wanted to have something to read that was entertaining, if I was going to be flying and sleeping. I didn’t want anything “heavy” to read. I am hoping to read a couple of books while on the island. Last time I consumed 3 or 4 books and needed more.
They played 4 movies:
You, Me and Dupree (didn’t watch)
Trains Planes and Automobiles (didn’t watch)
Xmen 3 (watch and LOVED it)
Some Lawrence Fishbourne movie… I couldn’t place it.
I remembered Roon’s comments about Xmen 3 or at least the part about killing off characters… that they did! Wow… I was not expecting them to kill off such major characters. But hey, if you are going to go…
So, that’s about it for this portion of the post. It’s 8:35 normal time for me, 3:35 here and I have another 1:30 before the nice flight leaves. I’ll get the rest of the team and I am sure that we will eat. Plus I will have to rehash today’s fun adventures in travel!
So now I am in American Samoa. Can I tell you that it was a VERY good thing to have overslept? Yes Sir Ree Bob!
Richard and Jim (the guys on the team) arrived later than the 4:02 (Hawaiian Time) as displayed on the screen. They came in more at 4:15… which meant that there was only 15 minutes until it was time to board. So Jim and I went to Burger King while Richard had a nicotine dinner. My Whopper Jr. Combo was $7.80… I was hungry… so I got it. I also bought a $3 water because I wanted water on the plane to avoid the dehydration thing…
So when we get to the Gate, they are already boarding. We didn’t have a problem getting on and my seat was right at a bulkhead… my least fave seat in the plane… but I perservered. I tried reading more of the Harry Potter book but I didn’t finish it, I have about 100 pages or so to go. I slept for chunks of time on the plane, but we did get dinner. I was asked if I was a surgeon while on the plane. I also saw a guy with a Canon AE-1 which is much like my Canon AV-1… their cousins from the 1980s in the SLR family.
So, here were missing your initial plane works to your benefit… I have my luggage! There was enough time to get my luggage to my plane but the Guys didn’t get theirs… sucks for them because we have to wait until tomorrow to get their claim started.